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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Comedy of Errors (not about the play) (08/18/11)

By Melinda Melton


“Sister, wake up! Guess what we got for Christmas? Sister, look!”

I open my eyes and see my two younger sisters, four and five, kneeling at the side of my bed, playing with Play Dough. I’m half awake, but somewhere in the back of my mind, I knew it wasn’t Christmas yet and the thought occurred to me that I bought Play Dough for a classmate as a gift for our class party that was the next morning. Wait a minute! I jumped out of bed and looked at my sisters, happy as clams, playing with the Play Dough.

“What did you two do?” I ran out of my room and into our small living room. I see the Christmas tree with lights blinking and the ice sickles twinkling. There is the desk lamp plugged into the wall and sitting on the floor next to the furnace. It is my Grandfather’s gift. There is a bright sweater thrown on the floor that is my Aunt’s and a brand new brown purse that is my Grandmother’s. There are baby dolls and little toys everywhere. I stand with my mouth hanging open and stare at the mess. My two sisters had opened every single gift under the tree. Being the older sibling of three, I did my duty and promptly went to tell my parents.

My parents come running into the living room and stood much like I did and stared at the disaster. There were opened boxes and presents lying everywhere. The Christmas wrapping paper is ripped to pieces, bows and ribbons are on the chairs and couch. Everything is covered in flour, including my two sisters. Flour?

My mother walked into the kitchen to find the gas oven door wide open and cake pans on the racks. There are eggs, cracked egg shells, spilled milk and flour all over the floor. Little feet and hand prints are all over the stove, walls and everything they touched. It didn’t take much to decipher where they had been and what they had gotten into.

Mama said, “What in the world?” as she walked over to the stove. They had managed to turn the oven on and Mama quickly turned it off and slammed the oven door.

My sisters chimed together, “We made cake!”

I started laughing and my parents ordered me back to bed. I got as far as the hallway and peeked around the corner at the show.

Daddy was so angry I could see him shaking. He told my sisters to turn around and face the wall until he decided what to do with them.

Daddy sat in one chair and Mama sat in the other, taking in the scene. They were speechless. Mama covered her mouth with her hand and Daddy said, “Don’t you dare laugh.” Mama smiled behind her hand and ducked her head to hide her laughter. My sisters looked at each other and grinned.

Finally, my Daddy got up and said, “This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you but I have to spank you now.” He proceeded to paddle their little bottoms. The air filled with their cries and I felt terrible for tattling on them. I went to bed and Mama began to clean up.

The next day was school day and I was frantic about the gift I was supposed to take. There was no way to salvage the Play Dough. So my mother did the only thing she could think of. She found a small piece of Christmas wrap from the shredding of the night before, and wrapped another present for my classmate. A brand new pair of panty hose. She shoved it into my hands and sent me to school. I was mortified and took my name off of the gift.

When my classmate opened her gift, without the tag, she just stared at it. The class burst into laughter and wanted to know who it was from. When no one responded, my classmate just smiled and said, “Just what I needed, a pair of panty hose.”

Every Christmas, my sisters and I go down memory lane and retell the story and when I smell Play Dough, I think of my two sisters, cake and the panty hose. To this day, I’ve never told my classmate that gift was from me.

*Author's note: This is a true story

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This article has been read 425 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Janice Fitzpatrick08/25/11
True to life stories are often the best because they have more meat and depth to them. I really like this piece. It is so cute. Typical little ones- I have two of those who were always getting into things-but they grow up fast and all you have left are those memories-enjoy and savor them-they will last a lifetime.:)
Jackie Smithwick08/25/11
I loved this true story. Keep writing. Every life has great stories, but not everyone can share them this well.
Cathryn Hasek08/26/11
What a neat story...I have the same sort of nostalgic feeling when I smell Emeraude perfume...my mother's favorite and a Christmas gift that, well, leaked out one year! Ha...well done!
C D Swanson 08/26/11
That brings back memories of my youth! I was always the first of my siblings to investigate presents and things, highly inquisitive, ever searching!

Nice job, and an adorable story overall...I loved it. I felt your sister's pain getting paddled!

Your friend just read the story and finally got the answer to her question all these years! "So that was who gave me the pantyhose!" lol....LOVED IT!

God Bless you~
Sarah Elisabeth 08/26/11
And now she knows ;-)

Loved this humorous story! "Don't you dare laugh." LOL

A bit of red ink: watch for tense switching, going from present to past tense and back. Stay with one tense throughout.

Great story, keep writing!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/26/11
This is a great story and definitely right on topic.

My small editing note is you used the phrase my Daddy. You capitalize words like that when they are used as a name but if it has my, the, your etc in front of it then it should be lower case.

I giggled throughout this story and could easily picture the entire scene. You did a great job painting me a picture with your words. I love that it's a true story.
Colin Swann08/29/11
What a cute story - wished Papa had seen the funny side! Bang on target for topic!
Tom Parsons 08/29/11
Delightful, well-told story.

In addition to the other grammatical comments made here, with which I agree, there is no need to ever use the phrase "off of." The "of" is redundant.
Rachel Phelps08/30/11
What a great true story to share! I agree with the previous red ink comments, so I won't add to them. Your pacing was great in this!